Sacramento will begin Targeting Illegal Marijuana Growers
The Sacramento Police Department will be cracking down on illegal marijuana growing operations. The SWAT team will be leading the charge, assisted by code enforcement officers and building inspectors. In July, Councilwoman Angelique Ashby requested that local agencies develop an “urgent plan of action” after several recent marijuana-related crimes. In July, vehicles were driven into the garages of homes growing marijuana on two occasions. Earlier this year, two people were killed outside a suspected grow house in south Sacramento. Councilwoman Ashby stated,
I am not willing to allow the crime that happens around those homes to continue without taking extreme measures.
Staff from the city Attorney’s Office assured the council that the city is working closely with its office to ensure people growing marijuana illegally are prosecuted. Joe Devlin, head of the Office of Cannabis Policy and Enforcement, suggested several options for curbing illicit marijuana growing throughout the city. One was to use the SWAT team to combat the growers. Another option was to pull three sergeants and 12 officers from patrol to create a new team. The city manager’s office recommended a combination of the two, using the SWAT team for three months and then transitioning to a dedicated team.
Devlin has estimated that there are about 1,000 illegal growing operations in Sacramento. According to a council report, police have responded to 76 marijuana-related robberies so far this year, and the Sacramento Fire Department has handled 11 marijuana-related incidents. Councilman Allen Warren reiterated his concerns in August that his district is disproportionately affected by illegal growers and that people have been buying commercial property in preparation for growing. We will have to wait and see if the illegal marijuana growing in Sacramento is curbed or if it will continue.